Both Yusuf and I are overly obsessed by the same book at the moment. I bought it for Yusuf last Christmas and he has studied it over and over, he kept silently dissapearing off somewhere, not to surf the internet for sexy ladies or internet shop for kitchen geekery (knives in his case, he can ogle at knives for hours and HOURS!) he was mostly found with his nose in this book. He practically shudders everytime he reads the slow poached egg recipe. The book is called Momofuku and it is more than excellent.
I scan read it at first, slightly put off by Yusuf's over excitement..I thought it was a bit of a boy's cheffy book, and in some way after the second and thorough read through I was a tiny bit right, but, like Yusuf I found myself thinking of the recipes while on long drives (often when I have my creative moments, well, then and about 5am usually) and taking another look. We have totally changed the way we cook pork belly now, thanks to David Chang.
It is odd to be a fan of a restaurant and cook from so far away. New York used to be a place I would zip off to with a good mate and eat my way round the place for a fortnight, whilst cooing at the 'Cops' and the Hot Dog stands, but alas Motherhood has taken the place of that frivolity.
When I lived in London I would always try out the next big thing on the restaurant scene, always read the reviews and find out the' not so known, but amazing authentic food' type of places. When I moved there in the early 90's I lived in Stoke Newington and pretty much ate Turkish food and Vietnamese food until it came out of my ears. Often seeking out the little known backstreet vendor with the best grills, or salt and pepper squid. Frequenting secret bars open after hours, ones you had to bash a door and they let you in, to find a smoky room, freezing cold Efe's and awesome food. Wagamama had just opened it's first restaurant then and we used to queue round the block to eat really decent soup noodle ( I wish I could say it was as good now, no where near as brilliant as it was then). It changed the way I ate and cooked forever. We eat a lot of noodles in my house. My son learn't to say ''Noodoo'' around the age of two and it is now the family term for all noodles.
I just love seaweed, I love cooking with it and have been adding it to everything over the years, sea lettuce in salads, Nori sprinkled on most savoury stuff. It is the best thing to begin a stock with, some nice fat kombu. Nothing quite like it. I love the smell of it ad the feel of it's slippery thick skin when you take it out of the water. It is a wonderous thing.
If I was in New York, I would be checking out all of David Chang's places. His food and writing certainly rock.